Top positive review
Breeds vs New Species - Dohner's Series Just Keeps Getting Better!
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 28, 2011
I've waited to write a review on this series because I wanted to make sure it was not a fluke. I have read many of Ms. Dohner's books and her different series are hit or miss for me. After 5 books of enjoying these stories, I feel much better about recommending this series without reservations (so far). When I first came across this series, I thought it sounded an awful lot like Lora Leigh's Breeds. Since I was in between my usual series at the time, and I enjoy the Breeds series, I thought I would give this one a try. I am so glad I did. The series is definitely a LOT like the Breeds series. Genetically engineered humans mixed with animal DNA, tortured by their creators as lab rats, finally rescued and given a place to begin building their own society and finding a place in the world, while still in danger from their creators and other zealots who don't think they should exist as anything other than lab rats if at all. However, there are some things about this series that I enjoy more than Lora Leigh's original.
The first huge difference is the lack of "mating heat" as a hormonal imperative to pair up whether the couple initially know or like each other or not. The characters in the New Species series come together due to good old fashioned attraction and mutual affection. The New Species do bond with their mates, but it is not automatic and they often have to work for the relationship to happen, unlike the Breeds' mates who go through hormonal induced pain if they do not couple with their mate. I always thought that was a copout strategy so as not to have to explain how the relationship progresses. I find that Laurann Dohner's take on mating is much better and satisfying to me as a reader. The second difference is that while the sex scenes are steamy and descriptive in New Species, they are not as raunchy. The emphasis is more on romance and seduction, instead of just plain lust and physical need as it is in the Breeds. There is plenty of lust in New Species, but there is always plenty of emotion as well. Once again, I prefer the New Species approach to the Breeds on this particular aspect. I want to point out, however, that New Species does have some scenes which might be disturbing to readers as the torture the characters go through is not always easy to read, but those scenes are not extended past what is necessary for the development of the story.
Now to Brawn's story. I really enjoyed this book. The abduction part takes up about half the story, and then the characters have to deal with the aftermath, getting past their insecurities, and making their relationship real. Just as in many of the previous books, there were parts when I could not help but get teary-eyed at what appeared to be an impossible situation for our couple and the pain they suffered, but as expected they made it, and Ms. Dohner managed to write it all in an entirely plausible (for a paranormal romance) way that left me a very happy reader. The characters were amazingly easy to relate to, as seems to be the norm in these New Species books. I loved Brawn, just like I loved Slade, Valiant and Fury. (Justice was good too but for some reason got on my nerves at times) I felt truly bad for Becca and could understand her insecurity while admiring her strength. She had good reason for being cautious, and I was happy when it all worked out for them. It was easy to root for the characters which made the reading more enjoyable.
Ms. Dohner also gives her secondary characters plenty of "air time", so readers end up wanting to know what happens to them. I am anxiously awaiting stories for Tiger, Bestial, Flame, and Breeze. Breeze has come out in almost all the stories and I am very curious as to how Ms. Dohner will give her a happily ever after considering the female New Species' take on relationships. The fact that the author alluded to a New Species couple trapped in the same lab as Brawn and Becca where the female was killed, gives me hope that deep down, some of the female New Species would be happy finding their mate, but making that relationship work would be more than tricky. A challenge for the author I guess.
People who enjoy the Breeds series may enjoy New Species as long as they are able to separate the two. Don't expect it to be exactly the same regardless of the many similarities. This one is much more romantic and the sex more about emotions than dominance. People who have never read the Breeds but just enjoy a good paranormal romance with characters that stay with you past the last page will enjoy this as well. For me, this series is now on auto buy, I enjoy it that much.